Developer: Yang Yang Mobile
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC, Mobile
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 15/12/2021
£17.99 £14.39/ $19.99 $15.99
On sale UK 04/01/2022 and US 05/01/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
So I am up for a good horror story. There is nothing better than that rush of adrenaline from a safe scare. This is where a visual novel could be an outstanding medium to not only deliver a great story but also add the visual element too. But is this visual novel worth your time?
The Letter starts off with the protagonist Isabella (Bella) Santos, as she is running late to an open house. She is one of two real estate agents trying to sell the Ermengarde Mansion, that has been empty for years. As all old buildings do, it has gained its fair share of horror stories that Bella seems to believe.
When Bella gets to the Ermengarde Mansion, she looks for her partner, Rose. As she couldn’t find her in the lobby, she decided to check the rest of the house. Aiming straight for the attic (as you do). In the attic, she finds a small dusty room that has not been cleaned. Dismissing this, she goes in and finds a chain letter. Seemingly wrote in blood saying help me and asking to show the letter to five others or else.
After reading this clearly unnerved, Bella is confronted by the contorted figure covered in blood and rotting away. She runs and falls down the stairs and knocks herself out. Found by Rose and another woman. After asking if she is OK and advising she goes to get checked out, Bella says she is fine and takes a couple around the first floor.
Acting totally irrational, she is told to go home and rest. Regardless, the Ermengarde Mansion is sold. But the trouble for Bella and her friends is just beginning.
With the letter being a chain letter, then it is inevitable that others will get involved, and that is just what happens. The Letter revolves around seven people in total. Each having their own branching interlinking story.
The story is a mix of Asian horror and psychological horror. But there is one thing that does not suit right with the narrative; that is Bella’s reaction to everything that happens. She seems convinced she is just seeing things, over and over. This becomes apparent early on in the story.
In all honestly, would go as far to say they aimed it at teens. With the petty arguments, making ups, relationships and very immature twenty-somethings being most of the characters. With a very watered down story. Nothing like what would expect from a true horror story.
As with most visual novels, there are sections that decide the direction of the story. And The Letter is no different. You will interact with the game in different ways. There are the story decisions that will affect the general direction of the narrative. These decisions also change the relationship of the characters; this too changes the narrative. And there are quick time events that keep the characters alive.
Please, No Why?
The Letter has full voice acting unless its internal thoughts. Now for the most part, the voices fit the moany twenty-somethings. Except for one character, Becca! She is meant to be Scottish, however it is the worst Scottish accent I have heard in a long time. The voice actor murders the accent and I will not even get in to how she says ‘Bawbag’.
Overall, The Letter A Horror Visual Novel, is definitely on the lighter side of horror novels, with its watered down story. If you take it as it is at face value or if you like relationship management, you might get something from it. But, if you are looking for a true scare, I doubt you will find it here. The Scottish accent is terrifying, however.
I would not rush out to get The Letter A Horror Visual Novel unless you like stories aimed at teens and young adults. Wait on a deeper sale.